15/01/2020

GREENHOUSE - a story in 100 words


GREENHOUSE

Zena dressed the children carefully – trousers, long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, Factor 100 on exposed skin.
“Are we going to the beach, Mummy?”
Sometimes Zena took them for a picnic under the ruins of the pier, but keeping them in the shade was exhausting. “No – today’s a surprise.”

When they reached the Dome Zena bundled them up in warm jackets - air-conditioning kept the temperature down to a cool 40 – but their awe at their first sight of a tree made the journey worthwhile.
With tears in her eyes she told them, “This is how it used to be.”
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This story may very well be prophetic, the way we're treating our world at the moment. I shudder for my grandchildren. There are countries still too poor to do their share of the repair, but the richer countries should be picking up the slack, and they're not. I was born in Australia, so the dreadful fires there are breaking my heart. 
Enough of politics! Thanks to J Hardy Carroll for the photograph, which reminded me of a tropical rainforest dome I visited in Australia 30 years ago, and the thoughts combined to inspire this story. Thanks also to Rochelle, our genial host on Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/

42 comments:

  1. I like the way your story brings reality to daily life with a degraded environment. I really hope it doesn't come to this.

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  2. Put 'em all in the tree museum
    and charged the people a dollar and half just to see 'em

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    Replies
    1. That was my first thought, too.

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    2. Did you rhyme that deliberately, Neil?

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    3. And Nobbinmaug thanks for reading.

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    4. Neil is quoting the wondrous Joni Mitchell, Liz.
      Big Yellow Taxi was a hippy anthem back in the day.

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    5. Ah - I managed to miss that one, despite my long skirts and bare feet!

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    6. Wow I've literally just told my son about this Joni Mitchell song. He has to design a vinyl cover using an old protest song for a graphic design project in art college!

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  3. I went in a similar vein with mine. It is a travesty the way we treat this planet.

    Going to the beach with Mummy means something totally different here, in America.

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  4. Loved the descriptions of seemingly day-to-day life which turns to horror at the thought this is not an impossible thing for our future.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dale. The thought is horrific.

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  5. Liz, I definitely connected with your story. It could be closer than any of us think!

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  6. Let's hope that's not too prophetic, Liz.

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  7. Dear Liz,

    We can only hope this won't happen.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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  8. Such a topical, relevant story. Heartbreaking.

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  9. The other possiblity is that there will be nothing but trees left. Who knows? We won't.

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    Replies
    1. You are right, Keith, but we can all do our best to avoid either scenario.

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  10. it must be the garden of eden revisited.

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  11. Not the same setting at all, but your story took me back to traveling through Kansas and Nebraska to Colorado. There were long, long stretches in which no tree was to be found. When we finally did see one, Dad would stop the car for a few minutes just to let us out to enjoy the shade :)

    I'm watching the news from Australia with such grief in my heart--especially that the fires were deliberately set. It's beyond understanding.

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  12. There's a difference between the aboriginal cleansing fires that used to be and arson for the hell of it.

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  13. Things are sadly going that way...

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    Replies
    1. They are - fire and flood might lead to famine, and then what?

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  14. Nicely done, Liz, a clever dystopian view of a seemingly inevitable future

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  15. Creepy thought. No trees = no oxygen. On way of culling the population. Great story.

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    Replies
    1. Apparently half our oxygen comes from algae in the sea, but we do need trees too.

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  16. Wonderful writing, but I hope not a prophecy. Well done, Liz

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  17. Beautifully and tragically told, Lizy.

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  18. I think this could happen... the only question for me is if there is any place left for humans.

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  19. Replies
    1. I just wish more people - and Presidents - would listen.

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  20. A great piece of flash fiction, Liz. Let's hope all the leaders will do something before it's too late. :(

    marion

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